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Are You a Specialist or Generalist? (Choosing Your Career Path.)

Source: Race Department
Source: Race Department




While you are thinking of something to do with yourself for the rest of your career; you’ve probably decided to be a Tech Blogger, or; an Events management specialist, administrator, writer and programmer all combined in one.

You have your reasons for choosing your career but you understand some of the consequences of your decision; and so you take your time to decide a most secure and rewarding career path.

Just so you don’t spend half your entire life thinking of the right career path to follow, here are some tips to help you make this important decision of your life.

Find your forte

If you want to specialise in a particular field, you would have started out on the career path long before now; most likely from college – in the sciences or arts – and then through your university education.

This is obviously necessary to provide you with a strong foundation for your career.

Anyone can be a specialist and anything can be a specialisation. You can choose to be a neurosurgeon or do rap songs. It’s your choice and nothing stops you.

But bear in mind that the smaller your area of specialisation, the fewer your opportunities.

The advantage however is that, as a specialist, you are more valued for your expertise and competence.

The rewards for talented specialists are good; for example, you’ll easily spot out and roll with professionals in your field of specialisation.

As a neurosurgeon, employers and clients will naturally expect more from you than they would from a physician. It may be tough to meet those expectations; but that’s a strong reason to keep updating your knowledge and skills if you want to stay relevant in your field.

I’ll advise you run a blog or write for industry publications on significant developments if you want to be recognised as a thought leader and if you want your name to be top-of-mind when people look for specialists in your field.

The ability to act promptly with strong analytical, problem-solving, decision-making and judgement skills are the key qualities that will keep you in good stead.

A downside to working as a specialist is that you may not be asked for inputs and advice on other business matters. But you can counteract that by taking a flexible approach, learning about the other business functions and networking outside your group – these things will strengthen your designation as a specialist in the company.



And if you decide to fall in the crowd…

If you are interested in handling a variety of tasks, then a career as a generalist is most likely a suitable option to go for.

You first step to becoming a generalist is by building a strong base of knowledge in different business disciplines. Starting from preliminary planning and budgeting to analysis; get set to become a multi-tasker!

Working as a generalist gives you the liberty to apply your principles to more than one sector. You are not restricted to focus on a single discipline. Which means you have better employment opportunities; although, amidst cut-throat competition.

Your advancement and rewards will depend on your accomplishments, your willingness to learn more and your determination to prove your worth in the sector and your industry experience works to your advantage.

Most people are of the opinion that generalists lack intricate knowledge in different fields.

As a generalist; with your knowledge in different key areas across industries, your opinions will be valued.

But as you advance in your career, you’ll need to expand your knowledge base – by scope and depth.


Combining both

One of the best ways to be a competent candidate is to have excellent interdisciplinary knowledge.

A successful career demands expertise in a particular field and indepth knowledge in others – a good blend of specialist and generalist skills.






Author Bio

Katie Matthews  is a recruitment advisor and freelance writer. She gives career advice on several blogs and discusses recruitment topics in different industries. She also writes on International recruitment, tax recruitment agencies and so on. She takes writing inspiration from Investigo.

Nathan Jeffery
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